For people of all Ages!
With the picture perfect beaches, lovely warm waters, and plenty to see and do, Goa presents the picture of an oh-so-perfect holiday! The fascinating churches and the temples; the museums tell the mystical stories of the bygone era. And not just this, when we say “Goa”, it also means modern and pulsating night life. Goa offers hip eating joints, bars, clubs and not-to-be missed beach parties. It’s exuberant night life makes Goa one of the most hip places for party animals.
We take a traveller’s guide into what makes Goa the land of incredible fantasy.
An old world tranquil charm to cherish….
The Velhas Conquistas is the local term for an area known as the ‘Old Conquests’. Divided into four municipal districts now namely the Bardez, Mormugao, Salcette & Teswadi, these are all replicas of how Goa was some four to five centuries ago. Located in the heart of Goa, they are also the most advanced & foremost tourist attractions.
The main striking aspect about The Fountainhas – a Latin quarter within Panjim, capital of Goa is that this area has been able to retain its bygone native Portuguese flavor and culture in lifestyle. Over centuries of change, much native element is lost, however this quarter can still recreate the typical aura of sprawling beach facing villas, buildings and architecture of the Portuguese ages. The queer quotient comes about in its day to day affairs and domestic influence, which still has a feel of the Colonial Portuguese rule.
The Rich Religious Cult..Temples and Churches
The temple and the churches of Goa are one of the most popular tourist attractions. Untouched by commercialization and very well maintained by the Government, the structures tell the stories of the glory of the bygone era. The popular ones are the-Ram Mandir, Hari Mandir, Shantadurga Temple, Mangeshi Temple and the Bodhgeshwar Temple.
The Shanta Durga temple dates back to some 270 years. Located at about 35 km from Panjim, the capital city it has seen a number of renovations. A chief attraction for locals and tourists alike, the temple creates great awe inspiring sight of a statue holding two serpents in both her hands. Idolized as a family deity, the temple is also worth visiting for its fusion on the Indo-Portuguese styles of architecture.
Another major UNESCO heritage site in old Goa is that of the Basilica of Bom Jesus. An original church still storing the remains of St. Francis Xavier, it dates back to as early as 1605. The church is symbolic of Baroque architecture. One of the oldest churches in Goa, it has a marble flooring with precious stones carved. A spacious interior houses paintings depicting the holy life of the Saint. Also houses a mausoleum.
The Forts…The Glorious Reminiscence of the Past
Being under several rulers, the forts are witness of the glorious past. The forts speak loads about the long forgotten era. Not to be missed are the Fort Cabo da Rama, Fort Chapora built by the Portuguese, Fort Aguada situated by the Mandovi River has some of the spectacular sights to offer. The lighthouse built in 1864 is still in use till date. The huge bell in the St. Augustus Monastery is worth seeing in Old Goa.
Situated on the mouth of the Tirakhal River in north Goa, the Fort Tirekhal was constructed by the great Maratha warrior kings. The fort houses a chapel in addition to some artefacts and ammunition of the colonial times. It was used later as a Portuguese maritime resource for defence purposes.
Water Front Activities…The best of Wet-o-Wild
The other popular tourist attractions in Goa are lovely and adventurous water front activities. You have everything from parasailing, paragliding, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing and many more. So if you are looking for that adrenaline rush, simply jump head long into it and you will love every moment of it. Beaches in north and south Goa offer plenty of water sports activities to give make your Goa trip fun and exciting.
For parasailing, head to Candolim, Sinquerim, and calangute beach. Baga beach is one of the biggest beaches and highly populated beaches in Goa and you can head to this beach for windsurfing. Get to Candolim, Dona Paula, Colva, and Mobor beach for yatching. For scuba diving, Dona Paula and Bogmalo beaches are the best! Wakeboarding and knee boarding are best done at Rajbag, Candolim and Mobor beaches.
Bon fire and camping on the beach- Have a rocking party
Goa holidays are simply great for the adventure buffs and it gets better with camping and bonfire. A great place for the trekkers you will get the correct dose of rugged terrain mixed with magnificent views of the anonymous depths of ocean and horizon.
For camping by the beach, head to Anjuna beach and make your Goa trip truly memorable. It cannot get better if you are a group of friends!
High Spirited Night Life…Enjoy it to the core!
Don’t miss out on the night life that Goa has to offer. The beach parties are extremely popular and you can try your luck in the many of the casinos scattered all over.
If you want to try your luck at the Goa casinos, head to Floating Casino Pride, in Panaji on the Mandovi River. It is Goa’s largest casino, built on three magnificent floors, offering international games like poker, blackjack, roulette, and lots more!
North Goa offers plenty of dining options; however, there are some that are not-to-be missed! If you are a foodie, you must go to Brittos at the Baga beach that offers lip smacking dishes, elaborate wine list and outdoor seating area to enjoy the sunset with your favourite drink in your hand. Apart from this, you can head to Cafe Del Mar and Mambos on the Baga beach. Do not forget to visit the Tito’s on Baga or Cavelossium beach to enjoy foot tapping numbers, Mojitos, Margaritas and what not!
Some of the popular restaurants of Goa are A Reverie that offers world cuisine and is located in Calangute. For Chinese, Japanese, and Thai, Tamari at panaji scores highest! La Plage at Morjim offers scrumptious French and seafood.